Dug this out of the archives. 🙂 This post was originally published on November 11, 2012.
I’ve been told countless times that if I’d like to be a writer, I should carry a notebook everywhere I go. A notebook, regardless of size or style, would enable me to record my random ideas and the whims that I would forget if not immediately written down.
For some reason, I’ve never really been into keeping a consistent notebook, because my writing is saved in various folders on my computer. I’ve tried to keep a notebook, but when I often forget to place it in my purse, I decided that an “idea notebook” just wasn’t for me.
However, I recently read A Writer’s Notebook, by Ralph Fletcher, which completely changed my mind.
For some reason, I had forgotten that customization of my notebook is entirely up to me. If I don’t want to carry it with me everywhere I go, I don’t have to. If the notebook isn’t solely for “ideas,” that’s okay too. The notebook, really, is just like a journal. It is meant to be completely personal, most likely different for every writer. (And who says you have to be a writer to keep a notebook?!)
So far, the composition book I have started is coming along well. The notebook houses a variety of things – journal entries, ideas for novels, lists, photographs, song lyrics, poetry, quotes, and articles I printed off the Internet.
I absolutely love the notebook because I can be so creative with it. The idea is that when I am writing, and need an idea for an interesting character, or an interesting name for a character, or an interesting plot line, or an interesting quote, I know right where to look for inspiration.
Use the notebook as a diary, an idea catcher, a sketchbook…whatever floats your boat.
Only rule: make it yours.
Do you keep a writer’s notebook? Please share!
I’ve never thought of sticking in pictures and poems and quotes, making my writing journal my own. I’ve never been good with a real notebook either––the only “notebook” I use is the notes app on my phone 😉 But, it works for me, and that’s what counts! It’s nice to hear you figured out your own method though… there are so many writing “rules” and “shoulds” I think we often forget the best way to write is to take the advice and, like you said, make it •ours.•
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